A poem about life as a teenager which is honest, insightful and uproariously funny. I'd be the first to admit that Teenage Angst may not appeal to teenagers, but other readers will undoubtedly spot character traits and behavioural abnormalities shared by teenage relatives or friends.
Teenage angst, teenage angst,
Zits and spots and furtive wanks,
Mobile phones that trill all night,
Pizza Hut to have a bite,
Teenage magazines, teenage books,
Fleeting glances, meaningful looks,
Brad and Janet, Clarke and Lana,
Horsey girls at the gymkhana,
Pot noodle parties, vodka bars,
Late night buses, father's cars,
Loads of homework, loads of grief,
Burger King to eat some beef,
Throwing French Fries, blowing straws,
Video store to take out Jaws,
Blue Ray dreaming, PS3,
Home from school, no bloody key,
Fucking parents, fucking teachers,
Fucking nuns and fucking preachers,
Chicken nuggets, Flake McFlurry,
Gulping thick shakes in a hurry,
Pepsi Cola, Coke in plenty,
God, I wish that I was twenty.
A second poem which plays on the adventures and insecurities of adolescence, Sex Education II is funny and touching in equal measure.
It's too rainy for football,
Lost without a whistle in his mouth,
Marches us all into an empty classroom.
Today, boys, he says,
Not meeting our eyes,
We will study the science of
Also known as…
Do our eyes light up,
For instead of another wasted
Afternoon running up and down in the
Bloody wet and mud,
Gong to be taught the good stuff.
For we are fifteen and
To learn about clits and tits
And lady bits,
How they all work,
Oh, how we want to learn this,
How to actually get
With these magical body parts
So alien to our own.
But Mr Millar dashes all our hopes
And draws endless diagrams
Of fallopian tubes and ovaries,
Ignoring our pleading faces
As we simmer with unasked questions
Will we, ever, in our miserable lives,
Meet a woman,
And see her naked?
Or is our life just going to be studying for
Or careers in banks,
And will we ever get to have sex,
Or will it all be
But Mr Millar
Is talking eggs and semen and making babies,
Though we have yet to feel our first bum
He's already got us changing nappies!
Doesn't he know that we're fifteen
And have hormones coursing through
Our skinny bodies
That even doorknobs make us hard
If handled the wrong way,
And the breast-shaped
Milk puddings that they
Serve at school dinners
Bring us out in cold sweats.
Give us this day the keys to the magic kingdom
And we'll do push-ups in the rain and
Never complain again.
Tell us the secret of unhooking bras
And we'll score rugby try after rugby try for you,
Leap the tallest hurdles on
And fill your tiny office
Full of gleaming silver trophies
If you'll only reveal the Masonic-secrets
Of what is inside Pretty Polly tights.
But, though God is in his heaven
It seems he already has all the power and the glory he needs,
And a – grateful – Mr Millar
See a cautious sun rising
Above the sodden running track
And senses reprieve.
We'll wrap this up later, boys,
He shouts in his old
Playing field voice,
The whistle back in his hand.
There just time for a few laps
Around the track before the four o'clock bell.
And, happily neglecting what is probably
The most important aspect of our
He leaves us,
Completely clueless and unprepared,
To face our coming adulthood
Oh, God, we thank you
For Mr Millar
And his whistle
And or letting us actually make it
To manhood, unscathed,
Most of all,
To Fiesta Magazine,
For helping us along the way.
Copyright © Max Scratchmann